In news that will delight fans of questionable cyberpunk films from the 1990s, seminal CGI film and VR influence The Lawnmower Man is coming to Virtual Reality as a multiple episode VR series.
Inspired by the 1992 film legally proven not to be based on a Stephen King story of the same name, the Virtual Reality content company Jaunt VR have revealed plans to release a “VR Realisation” of the film. No other details have been revealed yet, but this is the first adaptation of a film about virtual reality into VR itself.
The original film, starring Pierce Brosnan as a scientist who performs intelligence experiments on an intellectually disabled groundskeeper, was one of the first to tackle virtual reality. It could be credited for popularising a particular vision of virtual reality, one that clearly could not be achieved with technology available at the time, or ever.
The bizarre script, borrowing heavily from Daniel Keyes’ classic novel Flowers for Algernon claimed that VR could, among other things, let you spin in gyroscopes, have utterly bizarre cybersex, boost your intelligence to comical extremes (VR letting you learn Latin in 2 hours was one notable example) and make you telepathic. Shockingly enough, it was critically panned. However, much like several other films in that wave of cyberpunk cinema, like Virtuosity and Hackers, The Lawnmower Man has since become something of a cult hit.
JauntVR’s Other 2017 Shows
Along with this, Jaunt also revealed a slate of other scripted productions, with some potentially interesting conceits behind them. Luna, a 12 part suspense series by the creators of the Assassin’s Creed film, set on an abandoned lunar base is possibly the most interesting. The potential to bring the viewer into the tense disquieting horror of an abandoned moon base seems perfectly designed for Virtual Reality. Along with this is the political sci-fi series The Enlightened Ones, about the ethics of an immortality technology that causes the world to become overpopulated. The most bizarre concept slated is Bad Trip, a stoner comedy that is meant to use VR to put you right in the middle of increasingly bizarre drug trips.
Nostalgia aside, it is a sign of good things to come for VR cinema as a parallel form of entertainment to traditional film. The choice of the first film about VR being adapted as a project is symbolic.
Do you have any memories of The Lawnmower Man? What do you think the future holds for VR Cinema? Sound off in the Comments Below!